The World Health Organization reports that more than 55 million people around the world have dementia. It is the seventh leading cause of death globally and one of the major causes of disability in older people.
Dementia refers to a loss of cognitive ability. This can occur due to diseases like Alzheimer’s or after an injury. It covers anything that causes an abnormal brain change.
Dementia patients may experience the condition to varying degrees. It can affect language, memory, problem solving, critical thinking, emotions, behavior, and ability to perform activities of daily living.
Older adults are more likely to develop dementia compared to younger people, however, it can appear earlier in life. It is not a condition that is exclusive to a specific age group. The risk increases as we age. This is due to age-related changes in the body. Nerve cells can fail or die off in the brain, leading to cognitive decline.
Some of the most common signs of dementia in seniors include:
- Difficulty performing tasks that they have done before
- Struggling to remember things or retain information
- Unexplained changes in mood or behavior
- Forgetting or substituting words that don’t seem to fit
- Experiencing confusion or disorientation
- Poor judgment and out-of-character risk-taking
- Often misplacing objects like keys or a wallet or purse
- Losing interest in things they love like work, hobbies, or friends
- Difficulty coordinating spatial and visual information
- Losing track of finances and missing bill payments
Unfortunately, dementia is a progressive illness. It will eventually worsen, with increasing symptoms and the patient’s care needs becoming more demanding. This can put an enormous burden on families, which is why many look for a luxury assisted living home with memory care services.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is much like assisted living but with a higher degree of attention and services. It is meant for people with cognitive decline who require increased monitoring and support.
These facilities have staff available all the time with people trained in supporting adults with dementia. The building itself is usually very secure, with locked windows and doors to prevent wandering.
Along with security, memory care also provides more daily structure compared to assisted living homes. Having a structured schedule helps lower anxiety, aggression, agitation, and restlessness in dementia patients.
Memory care can make a huge difference in the lives of seniors and their loved ones. Families can also look for government programs for senior citizens in Arizona to find additional support.
Safety, Cleanliness, and Comfort in Memory Care
One of the early signs of dementia includes a lack of hygiene and cleanliness. When a senior moves into a memory care facility, they no longer have to worry about those basic necessities. Staff are equipped to ensure that they are safe, comfortable, and clean.
Housekeeping and laundry services are included. Staff also provide support for activities of daily living, like grooming, toileting, and dressing. They serve meals that are prepared with each resident’s dietary needs in mind.
Making sure the basics are covered will improve physical and mental health and help lower stress for both residents and their concerned loved ones.
A Home That Enriches the Lives of Seniors with Dementia
Today’s assisted living homes invest more in happiness and enrichment. Seniors deserve to live a good life, including those with illnesses or limited mobility.
Memory care is much the same. Staff organizes activities that are ideal for people with cognitive decline. Popular options include things like movie nights, gardening, brain games, arts and crafts, storytelling, sensory therapy, and more.
Residents don’t just live in the space – they thrive in it. Activities help bring meaning or conjure memories of happy moments from their past. Some are simply for fun, presented in a way that allows everyone to participate.
Many families feel overwhelmed with the daily care of a loved one with dementia. It can be difficult to ensure that a loved one’s life is enriched while maintaining a household with a job and other responsibilities. Memory care makes that possible.
Seniors who want to be proactive about their future care and wellness may ask “What services are included if I move into an assisted living community?”. Finding out now will help you make an informed decision without placing that burden on loved ones should you develop dementia later.
Improves Relationships with Family and Friends
The average household isn’t equipped to support someone with advanced dementia. Most adults have to work to make ends meet. They may have children or other responsibilities. Taking care of another adult 24 hours a day whose care needs will increase can be very taxing.
Sometimes, the stress and exhaustion of being a caregiver for a loved one can take a toll on relationships. Parents and children can feel resentment, fatigue, frustration, and many other negative emotions. It can also be difficult to remember that dementia can cause patients to become aggressive and irritable. These changes can further damage relationships with loved ones.
A move to a memory care facility will lift that burden and help residents maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. Instead of caregiving, loved ones can spend quality time together making new memories that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.
Creates a Space for Social Engagement
Social isolation is a concern for all seniors, especially those with cognitive decline. The worse the condition gets, the more isolated an elderly adult may become. This is especially worrying for people who don’t have a support network.
Memory care creates a space for social engagement. Seniors with dementia can join their peers in activities, holiday events, dinners, and more. It allows them to safely meet their basic human need for socialization, which has a powerful impact on mental health.
Memory care provides everything a senior with dementia needs to live as well as possible.